Sunday, June 14, 2009 Posted by Dominic Cole
Writing for IELTS is quite different from academic writing for at least one very good reason: timing. In IELTS you only have 60 minutes to produce two pieces of writing, there are no second chances and it isn't practical to draft and redraft. However, in IELTS you still need to find time to check your writing and edit it for mistakes. Here are some very practical suggestions on how to go about this process.
When to check
The first step is to decide when to check. You may think the obvious time is after you have finished writing, but there are other options. None is necessarily correct: as ever I suggest you need to try each approach and see which works for you as an individual.
1. Check at the end
The conventional advice is to leave 3-5 minutes at the end to review your writing. The reason to do it this way is that you can see read the whole essay and check it for coherence as well as grammatical problems. One problem with this approach is that sometimes you run out of time and do not check. Another problem is that it is more difficult to find mistakes when you check a longer piece of writing.
If you are a higher level candidate and you have few problems with grammar, this is possibly the approach for you. [pic]
2. Check as you write
An alternative option is to check as you write: either at the end of each sentence or paragraph. This idea may surprise you, but there is a very significant benefit to this approach: you are much more likely to find grammatical errors if you look at a sentence of 15 words than an essay of 250 words.
If you know that you have consistent problems with grammar, you should certainly consider this approach. It really is much easier to find mistakes this way.
3. Check as you write and at the end
This is probably the ideal choice as it allows you to find grammatical errors as you write and problems with coherence...